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Slow Cooker Scottish Beef Stew

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This Slow Cooker Scottish Beef Stew is fall-apart tender as it slowly braises in a fragrant herb broth. A hearty meal the Scots and those of us with Scottish heritage love on brisk fall days or snowy winter nights, this hands-off way off cooking a traditional beef stew is perfect for family dinners.

closeup up bowl of Scottish Beef Stew with a slice of bread resting in it and the rest of the loaf visible in the background.

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I mean, who doesn’t want a bowl of old fashioned Scottish Beef Stew for dinner at the end of a long, cold day? The slow cooker was made for cooking meat low and slow like this, allowing it to become melt-in-the-mouth tender, and for it’s juices to infuse the herby broth and vegetables you’ve added.

Serve it either by itself, or with a good loaf of crusty bread to dunk in all those delicious juices!

Ingredients for Scottish Beef Stew next to the Crockpot on the countertop.

Ingredients

Everything you need to make this Slow Cooker Scottish Beef Stew is easy to find and are things you might already have to hand, but there are a few things that make this beef stew recipe uniquely Scottish which I’ve included below, as well as a few more notes on choosing the best ingredients to make sure the recipe comes out perfectly every time!

The Perfect Beef for Scottish Beef Stew

Nick Nairn, a Scottish celebrity chef recommends a well-marbled beef will give you the most tender, succulent stew. While Scotch beef is, of course, traditional, good quality local beef will always be the best and most sustainable choice.

What is a swede? And what on earth is a neep?

Most Scots like to add a “swede” to their beef stew. A common ingredient Americans call rutabaga, a simple root vegetable that’s a cross between a cabbage and a turnip. A root vegetable… with many names.

  • Rutabaga: North American English
  • Swede: Commonwealth English
  • Neep: Scotland
  • Snagger: Northern English

In Scotland, the swedes or neeps are used as winter feed for those oh-so-tender beef and livestock. Scotland and Ireland have a Halloween tradition of carving the roots.

If you have any leftover from this recipe, you can also use it in a traditional French Pot-au-Feu, or to make mashed rutabaga to serve with winter stews or braises instead of mashed potatoes.

Jar of redcurrant jelly on the countertop.

Redcurrant Jelly

It may not seem obvious, but the best way to enhance the flavor of this stew is to add Red Currant Jelly. It gives a distinctively unique flavor to this hearty beef stew, and can easily found in the preserve section of most markets. According to Washington State University, the first red currant recipes came to America with immigrants from Scotland.

Once you’ve got a jar in the refrigerator, it is also delicious spooned alongside most lamb dishes or used in a sauce to serve alongside game meats and birds.

Beef Stew with Sliced Bread on Wooden Board and a bowl of side salad.

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closeup up bowl of Scottish Beef Stew with a slice of bread resting in it and the rest of the loaf visible in the background.

Cozy Slow Cooker Scottish Beef Stew

Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 10 minutes

Slow Cooker Scottish Beef Stew is hearty, fall-apart tender and braised in a fragrant herb broth that is succulently delicious. An easy, hearty meal for brisk fall days or snowy winter nights.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • flour for dredging (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 to 2-1/2 well-marbled boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
  • salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 tablespoons red currant jelly
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 1 rutabaga (or swede), peeled and chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • large russet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 3 cups beef stock
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  1. In a large zip-top bag, add flour, about 2 tablespoons, salt and pepper to taste. Then add the cubed beef, seal the bag, and shake to dust the beef.
  2. Heat the oil in a large skillet until shimmering. Add the flour-dusted beef to the skillet and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. Lower the heat, turn the beef and continue to brown the sides; about 2 more minutes. Add the red wine and red currant jelly to the skillet, bring to a simmer, and scrape up any brown bits from the meat. Let it simmer and reduce slightly about 4 to 5 more minutes. Transfer the beef mixture to the slow cooker.
  3. To the beef in the slow cooker, add the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, rutabaga, sweet potato and the russet potato. In a small bowl, whisk together the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce and brown sugar. Pour over the beef and vegetables, add the fresh thyme and bay leaf. Cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours.
  4. Discard the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Ladle into bowls and serve with crusty bread.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 servings Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 348Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 14mgSodium: 368mgCarbohydrates: 48gFiber: 4gSugar: 10gProtein: 12g

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